Managing the localization process for a 400-employee company operating in 18 countries from four global offices is no small feat. From a decentralized translation process to manual file handling, the expondo group had their work cut out for them.
Read on to hear from expondo’s Head of Translations, Julia Emge, as she shares her story of overcoming these and other challenges with the help of integrations, AI-driven machine translation, and a central marketplace for all their language service needs.
The challenge: decentralized translations and manual file handling resulting in high costs and limited productivity
Launching in 2007 as a seller on eBay, expondo has since grown into an international e-commerce powerhouse with a focus on niche products. But the journey wasn’t easy – expansion was somewhat haphazard, with little planning as to how different content types should be translated and localized.
“By the time I joined around two years ago, we had a decentralized translation process, with each team managing their own translations,” Julia recalls. “This led to inconsistencies in terminology and style across different content types.”
Another challenge was manual file handling.
“Every time we wanted to update our website or product catalog, we had to send the files out to our translators manually,” Julia says. “Not only was this time-consuming, but it also created opportunities for human error.”
In addition, expondo was spending a lot of money on these translations and the process was taking too long.
“Having to manage the relationship with every translation vendor individually, coupled with the administrative overhead of onboarding new translators, was eating into our profits,” Julia says. “What’s more, we were struggling to meet our deadlines due to the slow turnaround times. We knew we needed to find a better way.”
The goal: integration, efficiency, scalability
When Julia and her team started looking for a localization platform, they had a clear idea of what they needed.
“Our company is very much driven by technology,” Julia says, “so we wanted a system that could easily integrate with our existing tools, such as our product information and customer support platforms.”
They were also looking to improve efficiency while maintaining high-quality standards.
“We wanted to be able to reuse previously translated content as much as possible,” Julia says, “and we wanted a way to ensure terminology was consistent across all content types.”
And ultimately, they needed a system that would be scalable as their business continued to grow.
“When you’re expanding your presence in new markets, you need a localization solution that can grow with you,” Julia says. “We wanted a system that would be able to handle an ever-increasing volume of content without breaking the bank or spending weeks looking for and onboarding new translators.”
The solution: Smartcat
After considering several options, Julia and her team decided on Smartcat — and they haven’t looked back.
“What sold us on Smartcat was that it could be easily integrated with our existing tools, such as our PIM system and Zendesk,” Julia says. “This was a huge time-saver for us, as we no longer had to export and import files manually.”
Another big plus was Smartcat’s machine translation capabilities.
“We were impressed with the quality of machine translation, and we loved the fact that we could create hybrid workflows with both machine and human translation,” Julia says.
But perhaps the biggest selling point was Smartcat’s 500,000-strong vendor marketplace.
“Having access to such a large pool of qualified translators was a turning point for us,” Julia says. “It meant we could find the right translator for any language pair and content type without spending hours researching or onboarding suppliers.”
The change brought benefits to everyone involved in the localization process, not just management.
“Our PMs like the fact that they can access all projects in the cloud with complete transparency while our translators love how easy it is to work with translation memories and glossaries in Smartcat,” Julia says. “Personally, I love the fact that Smartcat is such an intuitive tool. It’s easy to use, even for those who are not familiar with CAT tools or TMS.”
Results: 50% higher productivity at half of the cost
Since switching to Smartcat, the localization team has seen a significant increase in efficiency — plus a significant decrease in costs.
“We’ve been able to increase our productivity by 50% while reducing our outsourcing costs by 50%,” Julia says. “This has had a huge impact on our bottom line.”
So the benefits are not just financial. The team now has a more consistent and streamlined localization process.
“Smartcat has helped us to achieve the consistency and scalability we were looking for,” Julia says. “It’s been a game-changer for our team at expondo, and I would recommend it to any company looking to expand their global reach.”
As an added bonus, Julia and her team are very happy with Smartcat’s customer service.
“It’s not just the features that make Smartcat such a great tool, it’s also the people behind it,” Julia says. “The team at Smartcat is always on hand to help, whether it’s with technical support or advice on how to get the most out of the platform. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our partnership.”If you’re looking for ways to streamline your localization process, try Smartcat for free today.